We are never too old to learn. Life has its way of throwing it’s lessons at us, leaving us with the choice of learning and accepting these lessons, or try our hardest to ignore them and move on. I find it’s a much easier lesson to learn when we choose the first, since life will force us to get there eventually, unfortunately sometimes it takes us longer than it should to get there.
I remember when I was younger, thinking how great it would be to grow up, finally be an adult, make my own choices, do what I want, when I want. I remember graduating high school, thinking to myself “yes! I am now an adult” and couldn’t figure out why my parents still treated me like a child. Now, a month away from my 26th birthday, I find myself still wondering if I’ll ever really truly feel like an adult. We have the chance to grow up a little every time life sends us lessons to learn though, and we come out stronger, more adult like in the end when we choose to learn these lessons.
I have this friend. She is a wonderful, kind, caring, talented person, and I honestly couldn’t be more thankful to have her in my life. When we first met however, I was incredibly jealous of her, and, although I never would have said any of this to her face, every little thing she did bugged the crap out of me. You see, when I lived back in the states, I was always the best seamstress in my group of friends. If someone needed something made, or fixed, I was the first person they thought of. It was a great feeling. Shortly after I moved to Italy, another girl arrived, and suddenly there was someone better than me. She could make these really cute stuffed animals, she could do embroidery, and her quilts far surpassed mine. Suddenly SHE was the one everyone thought of for sewing needs, and it drove me insane. I am happy to say that this overwhelming feeling of jealousy didn’t last very long though, and I’ve since gotten over the fact that I’m not the best. I realized that having her here has not only given me an amazingly wonderful friend, but a great resource to go to for my own sewing questions, and a level of skill to strive for. Knowing her is pushing me to be better.
While the feelings of jealousy are long gone, I didn’t realize the lesson I had learned until a few days ago when I bought and read Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. In the book, he says “You’re only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with. … If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.” That’s when it hit me. It’s OK to not be the best. I realized I needed someone like her around to push me to be better, to show me better ways to do things. Since we’ve become friends, I’ve noticed myself taking on more complicated projects than I did in the past, and have learned several new ways to make my projects better than ever. She has been a great blessing in my life, and I can’t believe I almost let a thing like jealousy ruin our friendship.
“IF YOU EVER FIND THAT YOU’RE THE MOST TALENTED PERSON IN THE ROOM, YOU NEED TO FIND ANOTHER ROOM” I’ve finally found my room, have you found yours?
Can’t we all be friends?! Some wonderful sock monkeys made by my friend.